Strategic gateway to the South West
The new Forrest Highway links Perth’s southern commuter suburbs with industrial areas in the rapidly growing South West region of Western Australia, the expanding urban areas of Mandurah and Bunbury, major resource developments and agricultural industries.
Opened in late 2009, this dual carriageway has taken 30 minutes off the road trip from Perth to Bunbury and resulted in a marked surge in day tripper visits.
“The new highway has provided a great boost to Bunbury as the gateway to the South West,” said City Engineer, Jason Gick.
“This extension to Perth’s Kwinana Freeway now bypasses Mandurah providing a top class dual carriageway all the way from Perth and the State’s second largest city, Bunbury.”
The new section of the highway is 70 kilometres in length and is the longest single highway project ever built in Western Australia.
This $800 million project was jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments, and is an important component in the Perth Bunbury Corridor Strategy.
A single gauge rail link from Perth to the Port of Bunbury is also a key element in this Strategy. As well as rail freight, this line provides two passenger daily returns between Perth and Bunbury.
In 2008 a study commenced by the State Government to assess the feasibility of a new fast rail service from Perth to Bunbury’s CBD.
Travel time would be one and a half hours, a reduction to the current time by one third.
Council is keen to push for this given the tourism and commuter spinoffs such a service would deliver, and sees it as yet another opportunity for Bunbury as the commercial capital of the South West. West